Re: DSM: Ambition and Humility


The Booroobin Sudbury School (booroobin@squirrel.com.au)
Thu, 23 Nov 2000 16:34:16 +1000


Hi Rick,
Yes, The Booroobin School would have eventuated, without the Sudbury
component. However, the reality is that SVS existed, and it has developed
through organic evolutionary processes. As Mike Sadofsky may say when he
returns from his trip to Oz, we are different from SVS, but we say and do
nearly all the same things. The few people at Booroobin who have maintained
their individual and our collective determination and commitment to the
underlying philosophy and principles have dealt with far more issues than
many Schools here would have ever confronted. We were older (from mid 30's
and up) when we started work with the working group (founders) in late 1993.
We had a lot of life experience between us. We had a lot of varied and
diverse life experiences behind us, including teaching, banking, accounting,
work with communities of interest, establishing and sitting on Boards of
Directors of Co-operatives and other not for profit organisations, and then
also arts and crafts, and civil, criminal and planning law, the ability to
work with bureaucrats and the ability to prepare and write documents,
applications and do graphic design work. In addition, we were / are mostly
parents. All of these things told us that what we were seeking to do was
right. In Australia, it can be a drawback to focus on a connection with the
US. So we have had to be careful, because people can and have been turned
off by that connection. We've been gradually exposing it, because we have a
quite profound admiration for SVS, and our sister Schools no matter where
they are, because we all press the envelope, and are doing what is simply
logical and right, and witnessing the growth in people as a result.
Regards, Derek
The Booroobin Sudbury School
http://booroobinschool.squirrel.com.au
Ph/fax +61 07 5499 9944
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rick Stansberger" <rickstan@zianet.com>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model@aramis.sudval.org>
Sent: Thursday, November 23, 2000 3:56 PM
Subject: Re: DSM: Ambition and Humility

> Derek,
>
> A lot of what I'm saying these days on this is list is coming from my
specific
> experience of helping individual southwestern New Mexicans see their way
clear
> to join our school. I realize that each sudschool is independent, but I
also
> know what persuasive clout the existence of SVS has in people's minds
here.
>
> The 45-minute video done by Japanese TV (NHK-TV) has had a profound impact
> here. People really needed to see the mansion and the grounds, the
physical
> plant, the clean walls (no graffiti, no scuff marks) and the kids. Monday
> night, I witnessed a skeptical accountant turn into a babbling partisan in
the
> space of an hour after seeing that video. Without SVS to stand as a
symbol for
> what is possible, I really don't think we'd have a founders' group at all
here.
>
> Do you think Booroobin could have come into being if SVs had been defunct?
>
> Rick
>
>
> The Booroobin Sudbury School wrote:
>
> > Hi Rick,
> > The beauty of the Sudbury model is that each School is truly
independent.
> > Each School finds its own way. We worked out what we wanted out of
> > education, our needs, and rather than reinventing the wheel, searched
for a
> > model of education that already existed. The SVM was an almost perfect
> > match. Its the independence of each School that is valued so highly
(and
> > the passion, strength of purpose and depth of debate amongst the
individuals
> > involved) and the fact the SVS does not seek to be the "mother plant"
that
> > makes us (the Sudbury sister Schools) so much stronger. SVS continues
to be
> > an excellent, probably the best, example of a truly democratic School
that
> > is going about its business, and assisting others with advice and
expertise
> > when requested. Its up to each school to run their own affairs and grow
and
> > become strong, independently.
> > Regards, Derek
> > The Booroobin Sudbury School
> > http://booroobinschool.squirrel.com.au
> > Ph/fax +61 07 5499 9944
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Rick Stansberger" <rickstan@zianet.com>
> > To: <discuss-sudbury-model@aramis.sudval.org>
> > Sent: Monday, November 20, 2000 6:18 AM
> > Subject: Re: DSM: Ambition and Humility
> >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > > Necessary condition #1
> > > > I believe the physical plant must be somewhat well located and be
valued
> > in
> > > > the single digit millions.
> > >
> > > It's a good thing I don't believe you. Ain't no way we're gonna get
up a
> > mill
> > > for a physical plant, pardner. Heck, we couldn't even rob a bank --
they
> > ain't
> > > got that kinda cash on hand around here.
> > >
> > > > Notes:
> > > > 1) I do realize that this formulation is conservative and may be too
> > general
> > > > and vague to be of much value.
> > >
> > > Actually I'm hoping it's too specific and too lavish.
> > >
> > > > 2) It seems that long before the culture generates much traction the
> > physical
> > > > plant stands as a silent expression of how much the child is valued.
> > Remember
> > > > that in the late 60's and early 70's there were hundreds of "free
> > schools".
> > > > The majority of them did not however have 13 acres, a pond, a
mansion, a
> > barn
> > > > and access to a large area of forested woods.
> > >
> > > Well, maybe if you mean ONE school like that somewhere that we can
point
> > to --
> > > OK. But democracy and self-reliance are ideas that didn't even need
> > covered
> > > wagons to spread. The little one-room schoolhouses maybe only needed
one
> > Harvard
> > > to point to Back East as the Temple of Learning, and the rest could go
> > about
> > > their hand pump and coal scuttle business.
> > >
> > > > 3) The culture is generated and lived by the children and the staff.
The
> > > > parents will have some knowledge of the theory, but the physical
plant
> > will
> > > > offer the one tangible expression of what might be possible for
their
> > child.
> > >
> > > That makes SVs like the Cahtolic Saint on the holy card: somebody we
can
> > point
> > > to to shwo it IS possible, though really most parishioners don't
expect
> > their
> > > neighbors or even their priests to be exactly like that lady or man on
the
> > card
> > > who let pagans rip out their eyeballs while they sang hymns or cracked
> > jokes.
> > >
> > > > 4) To a large extent, early recruitment will be a function of the
> > physical
> > > > plant.
> > >
> > > Not in our case. Nobody here is Silver is under the illusion that
we're
> > gonna
> > > grab one of the few ranch haciendas around here. The parents who are
> > coming to
> > > our meetings are sick of the kind of administration that worships
brick
> > and
> > > mortar.
> > >
> > > > 7) The point of this formulation is that if we can reduce Sudbury
Valley
> > to
> > > > it's necessary and sufficient conditions then we can build these
things
> > with
> > > > focus on these conditions and therefore we can build them much
faster
> > and
> > > > with a greater success rate.
> > >
> > > Not all sudschools are SVS, and that's a good thing, just as not all
> > democracies
> > > are the US -- or Switzerland or ancient Athens or modern Italy. That
> > shows that
> > > the idea travels well and adapts itself to differing circumstances.
You
> > couldn't
> > > have the Middle Ages without castles, and that may have been their
> > limiting
> > > factor. If you can't have sudschools without a million dollar
property,
> > that
> > > also will limit them.
> > >
> > > I do agree with you that the spread of the sudbury model has to do
with
> > the
> > > continued existence of SVS in Framingham. If THAT paragon were to
close,
> > the
> > > movement, at this vulnerable early stage, would probably shut down.
Once
> > the
> > > model decentralizes, it will be harder to kill. That's the phase
we're in
> > right
> > > now -- the mother plant is sending out runners and the little plants
are
> > breaking
> > > the surface.
> > >
> > > Rick
> > >
> > >
>
> --
> "Weirdness abounds and shatters our illusion of order. Heh-heh. All the
> dust is being blown out from under the carpet. Wonderful stuff!"
>
> Wanda Hamilton-Quinn
>
>
>



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